Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kakistocracy, Part 178,936

Seriously.  You've seen it, haven't you?  It showed up somewhere on your Facebook page.  You saw it on late night TV.  A friend mentioned it, and you assumed it couldn't be true so you looked it up.

Betsy DeVos.

The Department of Education is obviously important, but frankly, it's not THAT important since many education decisions are made at the state and local level.  I get to live in a state that actively gives a shit about educating its children, so I'm fine.  My son has benefited from the Individual with Disabilities Education Act in ways that we, as a family, can't begin to express our gratitude for.  And frankly, I imagine Connecticut will abide by this law whether Betsy Fucking DeVos gives a shit or not.

So, I'm not upset personally by Betsy DeVos.  As in so many things, I'm a well-off white guy, so I'm good.

But I AM personally upset by Betsy DeVos.  As Charlie Pierce so ably notes in his piece, she is an insult to the idea of democracy, self-government and meritocracy.  She was nominated, because she inherited money, giving her something in common with Der Gropenfuhrer.  She was nominated, because she wants to gut the fundamental truth of public education: that it be free, accessible and meaningful for EVERYONE.  She was nominated, because she has no freaking idea how to do her job.

That last part seems increasingly clear. Trump has zero idea how to be president.  So he will surround himself with various people who have zero idea who to do their jobs, too.  He will spin blame on them as needed to protect his narcissistic wound, and when it all comes crashing down, he will point at the incompetents and ideologues who he has surrounded himself with as the true engineers of the calamity.

As I mentioned yesterday, the unique hell of being a liberal in Trumpistan is seeing it all coming, warning of it, being ignored and - as time will tell - being proved right.  In the Oresteian trilogy, Cassandra can predict the future, but only the calamities, and the fact that everyone ignores her adds to her woe.  Here, there is nothing to predict BUT calamities.  We are all Cassandra now.

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